India is putting forward a bill that will ban cryptocurrencies in the country. Furthermore, the law will also forbid the possession, mining, and trading of crypto-assets.
It is, so far, one of the harshest laws against cryptocurrencies.
For now, the law remains only proposed, however, the fact that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has a majority in parliament and is backing the policy, the bill is very likely to get passed.
The passing of the bill would make India the first major economy to make possession of crypto-assets illegal. China too has strict laws against cryptocurrencies, however, doesn’t state possession of the cryptocurrency as illegal. China, in recent times, has been launching its own digital currency trials.
India too had revealed plans to launch its official digital currency last January, while proposing to shut down cryptocurrencies.
The proposed law has raised uncertainties over cryptocurrency in the country and is set to penalize the miners, holders, and traders of such digital assets. However, the policy will also provide the crypto-assets holders a period of up to six months to liquidate the assets before moving into fining or penalizing measures.
A senior official told Reuters that the government doesn’t have a problem with technology. “There’s no harm in harnessing the technology,” the official said.
As reported by Reuters, the official also said that the government would be calibrated in the extend of penalties on those who did not liquidate crypto-assets within the law’s grace period.
It is estimated that there are about 8 million investors holding about $1.4 billion in crypto-investments in India. However, it is not official data.
In recent times, the cryptocurrencies’ value has been skyrocketing, mostly Bitcoin’s. The recent value of Bitcoin is about $60,000 per unit. The cryptocurrency giant has recently gained support from major firms such as Tesla, the largest electric vehicle manufacturers. And, Mastercard has said it will support some cryptocurrencies on its network.
While cryptocurrency investment is booming across the world, India is banning digital currency. Should other larger economies also follow similar measures, the future of private virtual currencies might face a dramatic downfall.